Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Personhood and ‘Freedom’ for Sandra the Orangutan is Arbitrary and Asinine

“An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday”
Hello human brains, you there?

The ‘non-human personhood’ cancer has begun, not in the United States, but that doesn’t make it any less distressing. Because many people are fools when it comes to understanding animals, and because anthropomorphism is rampant and uncontrolled (even amongst exotic pet owners, zoo keepers, and others that support captivity), apparently this was enough for people with reasonable intelligence to rule that because orangutans look like us and can accomplish a few ‘cognitive tricks’, just like scrub jays, dogs, and octopi, it needs to be granted the same rights as human beings and cannot be ‘imprisoned’. There’s just one problem, animals cannot be legally imprisoned.

Animals, unlike humans when healthy and perfectly developed, do not have any language, cannot be held responsible for their actions, and simply do not have the same cognitive complexity and aware consciousness as a human. Many people, even those who you’d think to have competent intelligence, cannot think of traits that separate humans from animals, so I’ve provided a neat little list.

The question is, will the Buenos Aires' Zoo put their foot down and stand up against the lunacy of their country’s circus courts and aggressively pursue action against this decision? Despite all the arguments surrounding the idea of ‘personhood’ for non-human animals, and despite the fact (as whined by many) that corporations are considered ‘persons’ in the United States, one irrefutable point about this situation remains true: how in the hell is Sandra considered to be ‘free’ in another zoo that probably happens to have more trees, but it is still very much confinement?

Since this unnamed ‘sanctuary’ is in Brazil, we can assume that Sandra  won’t be released into the ‘wild’, as orangs hail from South East Asia, and thank goodness for that, because releasing a captive born animal into the wilderness would be brutal and torturous. Therefore, the headlines pushing claims of ‘freedom’ are as dense as they come. To make themselves feel better about an ape in a cage perceived by deceptive human emotions as ‘depressing’, confused animal rights activists have deluded themselves and duped the public into believing the idea that a zoo with the word ‘sanctuary’ tacked on it is somehow ‘freedom’. This results in humans feeling good and the animal becoming confused and likely stressed.  

Perhaps the Buenos Aires' Zoo should change their name to Buenos Aires' Sanctuary, and that way all of their animals can be ‘free’ too.

Sandra the orangutan is likely thought by activists and others to be lonely, yet their ignorance fails to allow them to realize that the animals are naturally solitary except during reproductive activities, although in captivity, anything can happen if it’s encouraged. So therefore, with ludicrous reasoning, non-human personhood has been granted to the highly endangered primate in Argentina, but there is no sense to be had in proclaiming that it is being ‘freed’. What really seems to be imprisoned is basic logic and reasoning in the heads of the members of Argentina’s court system.

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